The IGESPAR was established within the PRACE - Central Administration Restructuring Programme (Council of Ministers Resolution No. 124/2005 of 4 August), through Decree Law no. 96/2007 of 29 March. It is the result of merging the Portuguese Architectural Heritage Institute with the Portuguese Archaeological Institute, whilst also including part of the attributions of the former Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments. Ministerial Order no. 376/2007 of 30 March set down IGESPAR’s internal structure, as well as its statutes.
The Ministry of Culture’s organic law, set down by Decree Law no. 215/2006 of 27 October, encompasses the creation of the Regional Directorates for Culture – North, Centre, Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Alentejo and Algarve – as the Ministry’s peripheral services. Among other duties, they are responsible for safeguarding, enhancing and disseminating the architectural and archaeological heritage.
The archival holdings of the former Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments and preceding entities were transferred to the Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation, within the Ministry for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development, as part of the SIPA – Heritage Information System (Decree Law no. 223/2007 of 30 May).